Volunteer Opportunities

Listed below are a few local and science-oriented volunteer opportunities. They cover anything from outdoor education to citizen science! Many of the organizations listed allow groups of volunteers, as well as individuals. Click on the links at the end of each description for access to the organization’s volunteer application or general volunteer information.

Volunteer Events

Native Garden Service Day

Join Return of the Natives Restoration Education Project and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District at our upcoming community planting event. Volunteers are invited to come and enjoy the scenery, plant native plants, and help restore local habitats in Seaside! Everyone is welcome! A great family activity that is FREE. Tools, water, and snacks provided. Earn community service hours and mingle with like-minded servers.

For more information e-mail Giovanni Ibarra, gibarra@csumb.edu

June 2, 9 am - 12 pm

return of the natives education restoration project

Restoration Projects on Fort Ord National Monument

Starting at the end of November and extending through May, the Bureau of Land Management will be performing numerous restoration projects on Fort Ord National Monument. The work is high variable and changes from week to week, but students can expect to water oak trees, improve public areas, collect seeds, build tree cages, as well as many other tasks not listed. All of the work is valuable restoration experience that is marketable to future employers. Work will take place Monday-Friday beginning November 27th. No prior experience or commitment is necessary, though we are interested in finding a few students to help us on a weekly basis. If interested, please send an email to Chris Hart at chart@csumb.edu or call/text at 760-508-6931 with the days and times you are interested in helping out.

Weekly, Mon-Fri

BLM restoration project, man carrying trash across field

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities

Big Sur Land Trust

Big Sur Land Trust is a non-profit organization located in Monterey, CA. Their mission is to engage visitors in exciting outdoor activities in an effort to inspire conservation. Volunteers can work on leading hikes, landscaping/trail maintenance, office/work, outdoor education, photography, and more!

Elkhorn Slough

Elkhorn Slough is a careful balance of farming, people, and nature all in one ecosystem. In order to preserve these elements, Elkhorn Slough employs the use of federal and local organizations, as well as dedicated volunteers. Volunteers can help with water quality monitoring, restoration, and can assist as educators!

Marine Mammal Center's Monterey Bay Operations

The Marine Mammal Center's Monterey Bay Operations (MBO) rescues stranded marine mammals in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. Volunteers assess reported injured marine mammals, transport patients to and from the main facility, and provide public outreach.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a non-profit public aquarium in Monterey, CA. Their mission is to inspire and educate visitors from various backgrounds on the importance of ocean conservation. Volunteers can work as seasonal tour guides, divers, and can even help care for the otters! Some positions require additional training.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is a federally protected marine area off the central coast of California. MBNMS is dedicated to protecting the vital marine resources this area provides. Volunteers can do water quality monitoring, urban runoff collecting, kayaker education, and special programs.

Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District

The Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District (MPRPD) works to connect community members with beautiful parks and adventurous trails around the peninsula. Volunteers can become naturalists or assist with their Community ALIVE! (Act Locally In Volunteer Endeavors) program.

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History seeks to educate visitors on the natural and cultural diversity that exists on the central California coast. It acts as a living field guide for the community, attracting visitors from all over the world. Volunteers can assist as gardeners, educators, or for special events.

Seymour Marine Discovery Center at Long Marine Lab

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is dedicated to educating people about the role scientific research plays in the conservation of the world’s oceans. It offers hands-on immersion into the world of ocean exploration and discovery. Volunteers can assist as exhibit guides, school program instructors, and more!

Surfrider Foundation - Monterey Chapter

The Surfrider Foundation works to educate communities on the importance of protecting the ocean. The Monterey Chapter hosts regular beach cleanups at the many beautiful beaches in the area! They provide everything needed for the cleanup, excluding transportation to and from the site.